No respect for elders   30/4/2007

Kevin Rudd has ripped into John Howard over the PM’s age — 67. But Howard’s only a greenhorn compared with Ronald Reagan at his peak, who was pushing 80 when he shellacked the Evil Empire.
From any angle, it doesn’t seem like very smart politics. When you consider that the demographic bulge is made up largely of the post-50 age group, Rudd is condemning a lot of voters when he lambasts Howard’s values.

OPPOSITION Leader Kevin Rudd yesterday aggressively played the age card against his older opponent, Prime Minister John Howard, portraying him as out of touch and bereft of ideas for the future.
In a 45-minute speech to Federal Labor’s 44th National Conference, Mr Rudd repeatedly contrasted the differences between his claimed “forward looking” agenda and what he characterised as Mr Howard’s “head-in-the-sand” approach.
“He has run out of ideas. Mr Howard doesn’t really believe in a single idea which didn’t appear on black and white television,” he said, reviving memories of Paul Keating’s characterisations of Mr Howard as locked in a 1950s world of bakelite radios and slippers.
“No one is a bigger fan of Ward Cleaver than me, but I’ve got news for Mr Howard, the world has changed since Leave it to Beaver ,” he said to the amusement of ALP delegates.

Oh, how droll. The Labor luvvies adored it. But Howard shot back in good spirit by saying, no, his favourite black and white TV show was The Untouchables. And is Kevvie, who’s 50, telling us he didn’t spend any of his long-suffering (we know it is so, because he told us) youth sitting in front of a black and white telly?
But let’s be kind to Kev and examine the advances the post-boomer culture has brought us.
Well, there’s institutionalised illiteracy, political correctness, faecal art, rampant street violence, derivative graffiti, grunge music, Big Brother, the celebrity cult, rap, climate myths, unfunny comedy festivals, post-modernism, communist clergy and middle-class welfare.
Yep, Kev’s wooing the achieving generation.
Nevertheless, I hope no one from the boomer generation rips into Rudd for his obvious “ageism”.
That’s the sort of politically correct whining you’d expect from his preferred constituency.

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Acting right   27/4/2007

At least one Hollywood actor gets it:

So I imagine you’re a supporter of the Patriot Act?
Yes, I’m a supporter of the Patriot Act. I support protecting us and investigating anyone who indicates they’re going to be dangerous to our country. It’s one of those things; it depends on which side you’re on politically. If we had these things in place we could have anticipated 9/11. We’re not interested in investigating someone who’s doing something appropriate. We don’t have time for that. That’s nonsense. I certainly hope we’re paying close attention to all those people crossing our borders who might be dangerous to us. We know for sure there are cells in the United States that are ready to erupt. We know that Hezbollah is here; we know there are cells from different terrorist organizations that are here and operational and that there are others waiting too. So listen, it’s a serious business. It’s wartime, guys. Because we don’t have a continuous attack on our shores, we can get complacent. We’ve got to all be alert now, we’ve got to be a part of it and be supportive of our troops for sure.

And he’s Angelina Jolie’s old man! Oh well, no one’s perfect.

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Frightening prospect   

Merrikuns, do you really want to wake up to this every day?

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Prehistoric polluters   

Bet you didn’t know those stoneagers 10,000 years ago were dreadful global warmers. Yep, 5km from the coast, archeologists have discovered remains of a community that lived on the water’s edge. Must have been all those emissions from caveman campfires that caused the polar caps to melt and push up sea levels. So what made the sea recede? A prehistoric Kyoto pact?

The discovery was made on a building site in the Kallebäck area of the city. Residents of the new apartments being built in the area will be living on a site inhabited 10,000 years ago.
Kallebäck now lies about 5 kilometres from the open sea, but in the stone age the area was a headland jutting out into the sea.
“They most probably fished, and would certainly have hunted for seal. This was right at the end of a headland, and this means that there was access to animals for hunting,” said archaeologist Ulf Ragnesten.
The discovery is the first of its kind in the region. Gothenburg itself was founded in 1621, but people first came to the area around 12,000 years ago.

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Old pal, John Fitzgerald, of Fitzgerald Property in Trentham, had problems around the home office:

After going through a virus attack, losing a hard drive, fighting off
hackers, upgrading all my software, installing fire-walls, being
threatened with being cut-off by my email provider, and a host of other
problems… I have fixed my computer… and NOW it works exactly the way I want
it to!..

Yep, Fitz found the perfect solution:

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Day of gratitude   25/4/2007

Yesterday I took my annual pilgrimage to the land of heroes: the yearly reunion of the 2/14th Battalion AIF at the Victorian Club, 41 floors above the Melbourne streetscape.
As the old soldiers fade, there are more descendents than actual Diggers in attendance. But those veterans who do attend are treated with great respect and affection, which they return with old-fashioned modesty, manners and good humour.
In their quiet way, the veterans are extremely proud of their service, in particular the last-minute relief they provided the youthful, besieged 39th Battalion at Kokoda.
As is common these days, conversations turned to the remarkably good fortune this country is enjoying, despite the drought and ‘orrible Howard.
And repeatedly, we were reminded that had it not been for these grand old men and their compatriots, our lives would not be anywhere near as prosperous and comfortable. Nor would our society be as tolerant, imaginative and fair.
This came to mind as I gazed south from the Collins Street venue over Port Melbourne to the bay.
In the foreground were the engineering marvels of Westgate Freeway and the railway link from Flinders Street to the huge white elephant that is Spencer Street station.
In the distance, the bay shore curved from formerly working class suburbs, but now trendy enclaves like Port Melbourne and Middle Park, to St Kilda and the affluent seaside suburbs of Brighton and beyond.
In the middle distance, apartment blocks were shooting up around Docklands, providing luxury rooms with a view for a million bucks a shot.
A little further away, similarly sized but older apartment buildings towered over the suburbs. On the market, the flats would probably fetch more than half a million dollars. Yet, they cost residents only $60 a week.
Nothing exemplifies this egalitarian nation as well as the Housing Commission flats of Melbourne.

OK, who’s willing to take ‘em on?


Yes indeed. Lest we forget.

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Place to be   23/4/2007

If I were an old rocker who’d more than paid his dues, I’d figure it pretty apt to be diagnosed with Goodpastures Syndrome.
That what’s troubling legendary r and b man Max Merritt, says his manager, Wally Bishop. Apparently, it’s an extremely rare viral infection that has laid up Merritt in a Los Angeles hospital.
Bishop said 65-year-old Merritt had described his illness as “life changing” but remained positive and upbeat.
News of Merritt’s condition comes as the Australian rock scene adjusts to life without guitar legendLobby Loyde, who died on Saturday night after a long battle with cancer.

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All yours   21/4/2007

I’m off to bed and then to work full-on for a few days. Blogging will be minimal or non-existent. So feel free to use the comments section to tip winners, recommend the best area in Melbourne to rent a flat, advise why normally sane people keep barracking for Collingwood, discuss your sex life and debate who’s the bigger phoney, Kevin Rudd or Steve Bracks.
My blogsite invitation is inspired by the magnanimous gestures of these two illustrious commentators. They buzz off, write bugger-all and get record hits. Now, if you could just transform that to acceptable currency. . .

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She didn’t miss, America   

Looks like world peace will just have to wait a bit:
WAYNESBURG, Ky. – Miss America 1944 has a talent that likely has never appeared on a beauty pageant stage: She fired a handgun to shoot out a vehicle’s tires and stop an intruder. Venus Ramey, 82, confronted a man on her farm in south-central Kentucky last week after she saw her dog run into a storage building where thieves had previously made off with old farm equipment.
Ramey said the man told her he would leave. “I said, ‘Oh, no you won’t,’ and I shot their tires so they couldn’t leave,” Ramey said.
She had to balance on her walker as she pulled out a snub-nosed .38-caliber handgun.

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Soviet solution   20/4/2007

US college administrators can’t stop homicidal nutcases going berserk on campus.
But by golly they know how to deal with a real threat.

A Christian student who sued his college for trying to commit him to a mental hospital over his objections to a play depicting Jesus Christ as a homosexual has lost his battle in a Philadelphia courtroom.

What’s that Beatles’ tune that comes to mind? Er, Back in the USSR.

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Cranky daddy   

Alec Baldwin has learned the hard way that you cross a pre-adolescent girl at your peril. It’s safer to play with a nest of vipers. Silly Baldwin cracked a tantrum on his daughter’s message service and before you can say daddy-rant, his call is all over the net.

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Seed of an idea   

Get these Chinese experts down here quick smart.

China claimed yesterday to have caused a snowfall for the first time as part of its increasingly ambitious attempts to control the weather.
Officials in the meteorological bureau in Tibet said they had used “rain-seeding” techniques to trigger a snowfall over the city of Nagqu last week.

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Texas shootout   

The wild west in the 21st century:
At least one man was killed and several were wounded when rival immigrant-smuggling gangs engaged in a noontime gun battle that started on the Southwest Freeway and ended on the feeder road, police said.
Authorities suspect one gang was attempting to steal a load of immigrants from the other.

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Take my wife, er, wives   

Yet more evidence that Pommy powers-that-be have gone utterly balmy.

Polygamous husbands settling in Britain with multiple wives can claim extra benefits for their “harems” even though bigamy is a crime in the UK, it has emerged.
Opposition MPs are demanding an urgent change in the law, claiming that the Government is recognising and rewarding a custom which has no legal status and which is “alien” to this country’s cultural traditions.

I wonder whether this will get some idea bulbs flashing in the People’s Mediocre State of Brackistan. It would not surprise in the least.

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Max unwell   

Another rock great has health problems. Hope he’s not slipping away.

AUSTRALIAN music legend Max Merritt has been admitted to a hospital in the United States after suffering kidney failure.
Merritt, 66, who has lived in Los Angeles for more than 20 years, had just returned to the US after a tour of New Zealand.

Reckon that intro might get Kiwi rock historians a mite antsy.



Headbangers in mourning. Lobby Loyde has pulled out his lead. One of the greats.

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Interesting claims   

Melanie Phillips is one of the most level-headed conservative commentators going around. She is not prone to hyperbole, propaganda or myth-making. Thus, this piece is certainly worthy of contemplation and investigation. On the surface, it all seems a little neat, but you never know… I’ve never gone along with the deliberate lies theory about WMDs. What would be the point? You’re going to get found out — and after an invasion, sooner rather than later.

The organiser of the Intelligence Summit, John Loftus — himself a formidably well-informed former attorney to the intelligence world —has now sent a memorandum to Congress asking it to investigate Mr Gaubatz’s claims. He has also hit a brick wall. The reason is not hard to grasp.
The Republicans won’t touch this because it would reveal the incompetence of the Bush administration in failing to neutralise the danger of Iraqi WMD . The Democrats won’t touch it because it would show President Bush was right to invade Iraq in the first place. It is an axis of embarrassment.
Mr Loftus goes further. Saddam’s nuclear research, scientists and equipment, he says, have all been relocated to Syria, where US satellite intelligence confirms that uranium centrifuges are now operating — in a country which is not supposed to have any nuclear programme. There is now a nuclear axis, he says, between Iran, Syria and North Korea — with Russia and China helping build an Islamic bomb against the west. And of course, with assistance from American negligence.

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Serious news   19/4/2007

This has the makings of the biggest news story in my lifetime. Unlike most big news events, it will not be spectacularly sudden, although things could turn extremely dire in a short time. There are few celebrities involved, no inbred royalty, no inner-urban myths and apart from Red Cliffs hooch growers — and they’ll soon be out of business — very few criminals. But you can bet there will be quiet dignity in struggle, many decent helping hands, lots of sacrifice without complaint and innovation galore.
So, will the media, with its obsession for milking the “big” stories dry for the dumbed-down generation, give this issue the coverage it deserves? Bear in mind, there’s really no one to blame. I hope it’s front page for days. But then media these days accurately feeds its audience the information — or entertainment — they want and if this matter is a turnoff for media consumers, so be it. But if that’s the case don’t give me any more crap about this clever, caring and compassionate country.
ABC Radio 774 just had a government climatologist on who could not give any short-to-medium term predictions of rain over the Murray-Darling Basin other than to say there were no indicators for a continued dry.
I’ll bet he can tell us what the global temperature will be in 30 years, though.

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World’s oldest blogger?   18/4/2007

Something marvellous has appeared in the blogosphere that if emulated, could reverse the emerging generation’s appalling lack of historical knowledge, due in no small part to relativist philistines running state education departments.
Documentary maker Mike Rubbo has teamed up with 107-year-old Olive Riley to blog-chronicle Olive’s life. Olive does the reminiscing and Mike does the interviewing and typing.
Olive was born in Broken Hill and spent a lot of her life in the outback.
Tough old bird, I reckon. Excerpt:

….. you said Bernard went off to work the day Barnie was born. But he was miner and the strike was on. So, how could he go off to work?

He ran a book.

A book? What does that mean?

He took bets from gamblers to make a few bob. (shillings) People betting on the races in Adelaide, the horses. The bets was written in a book he carried. So, making book was the expression.

Where did he do that, physically I mean?

I dont know. Round the pubs, I suppose, street corners.
He never came to see me those ten days, you know. Not once. Was off with his girl friend, no doubt. That was Vera and she lived next door.

How terrible!

He used to say, “She’s nice, so good looking.” and I was skinny as a rake. And she’d been my best girl friend, too. It was terrible.
Oh, I punched her in the face a couple of times, that Vera. I gave her curry!

Hat tip to Man of Lettuce for the link.

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Dopey comment   17/4/2007

ABC announcer Jon Faine is in strife for admitting on air he once was in the habit of smoking happy Havelock.
They may not allow weed-puffing at the broadcasting collective these days, but this explanation for a ban on Faine recounting his past indiscretions suggests someone’s sprinkling hooch into the ABC’s teapot:

Faine was banned by ABC management from any further comment.
“Because it’s so contentious an issue in the community,” explained ABC spokeswoman Nataline Muscat.
“It’s a policy matter. We’re not supposed to broadcast opinions.

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Caught Nappying   15/4/2007

Incisive Wall Street Journal blogger James Taranto sniffs overwhelming hypocrisy in the belated sacking of a loud-mouthed syndicated opionista for making racist comments. Taranto knows that when a glory-seeking politician brings his family into the mix, standards have a tendancy to naturally double.

Anyway, let’s salute Barack Obama for taking a stand for decency, for protecting his two young daughters from invidiously racist and misogynistic stereotypes.
On second thought, let’s not. It turns out that Obama’s outrage with Imus is highly selective (dare we say opportunistic?). Blogger Joshua Claybourn notes a Sept. 15, 2006, Associated Press dispatch from Louisville, Ky.:
“Obama made a pitch for Democrats running for local government and for Congress at a rally that drew a few thousand party faithful to a minor league baseball stadium in downtown Louisville. . . .
Before Obama’s speech, the crowd was warmed up by a performance by Nappy Roots, a popular hip-hop group.”

Believe me, it gets better.

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